|"||So the guy who created Adventure, a man named Warren Robinett, decided to hide his name inside the game itself... This was the very first videogame Easter egg. Robinett hid it in his game's code without telling a soul, and Atari manufactured and shipped Adventure all over the world without knowing about the secret room.||"|
Adventure is a 1979 video game for the Atari 2600 video game console and is considered the first action-adventure game. Its creator, Warren Robinett, introduced the first widely-known Easter egg to the gaming world.
Adventure was published by the console's developer, Atari. It was inspired by a computer text game, Colossal Cave Adventure, created by Will Crowther and later modified by Don Woods.
Despite discouragement from his boss at Atari who said it could not be done, game designer Warren Robinett created a graphic game loosely based on the text game. Atari's Adventure went on to sell a million copies, making it the seventh best selling Atari 2600 game.
Because of a limitation in the Atari 2600's hardware, the left and right sides of nearly every screen are mirror images of each other, which fostered the creation of the game's confusing mazes. The notable exceptions are two screens in the black castle catacombs and two in the main hallway beneath the Gold Castle. These two hallway screens are mirrored, but contain a vertical "wall" object in the room in order to achieve a non-symmetrical shape, as well as act as a secret door for an Easter egg.
At the time of the game's creation Atari did not credit any of its authors for their work. Robinett included a hidden message in the game identifying himself as the creator, thus creating one of the earliest known Easter eggs in a video game. It took up 5% of the storage space on the cartridge. Atari found out about the Easter egg when it received a letter from a fifteen-year-old player, but left it in the game, partially due to the expense of creating a new read-only memory (ROM) mask, or memory chip, which was $10,000 US in the early years after the game's release.
Inside the black castle catacombs (on difficulty level 2 or 3), embedded in the south wall of a sealed chamber (accessible only with the bridge), is an "invisible" 1-pixel object referred to as the gray dot. One must "bounce" the player cursor along the bottom wall to "grab" the dot. The dot is not actually invisible, but simply the same color as the wall and is easily seen when placed in a catacombs passage or over a normal wall. The dot is not attracted to the magnet, unlike most other objects in Adventure.
Bringing this dot to the east end of the corridor below the golden castle while other differently colored objects are present causes the wall object to also become 'invisible', allowing the player to pass into a room displaying the words "Created by Warren Robinett".
Ready Player One History
In order to obtain the physical Egg, an OASIS avatar must play through the Adventure game and enter the Easter Egg room within in. Instead of "Created by Warren Robinett", a pale square will be present. Picking up the egg will give the avatar the Egg in the OASIS.